Learn how to make this Japanese family favourite, Spaghetti Napolitan! Made with sausage, bell peppers, onion and mushrooms cooked in a sweet ketchup sauce, mixed with perfectly cooked, el dente pasta and topped with a fried egg.
What is Spaghetti Napolitan?
Spaghetti Napolitan (スパゲッティナポリタン) is a classic Japanese style "wafu pasta" dish. It's easy to make and you can use accessible ingredients such as sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions served in a simple ketchup sauce.
It's easily one of the most popular pasta dishes in Japan, often being served at home, in cafes and at "yoshoku" restaurants for instance. You can even buy a premade sauce at the supermarket!
Like spicy foods? It's also popular to add a few drops of Tabasco sauce to kick it up a notch!
Yoshoku (Western Style)
Yoshoku (洋食) is a type of Japanese dish with Western influence and flavour. In fact, many yoshoku recipes contain ketchup. Other examples of yoshoku dishes include:
- Hayashi Rice (Hashed beef stew with rice)
- Curry Rice (Gravy-like curry with rice)
- Hamburg steak (Thick meat patty often served with a demi-glace sauce)
- Omurice (Ketchup rice wrapped in a fluffy omelette)
I'd say that Spaghetti Napolitan is pretty much a pasta version of omurice, so if you like omurice, I'm sure you'll love this dish!
A brief history of Spaghetti Napolitan
While the name "Spaghetti Napolitan" might sound like an Italian dish, actually, this ketchup infused pasta dish is a Japanese creation! I mean, Italians would never use ketchup on their pasta would they?
It is said that Spaghetti Napolitan started in Yokohama. It was created by a chef named Shigetada Irie, who was working at the Hotel New Grand. He was inspired by a tomato sauce flavoured spaghetti dish that was served to the American Military. However, because tomato sauce was hard to come by at the time, he replaced it with ketchup and Spaghetti Napolitan was born!
The dish was named after the Italian city of Napoli, known as Naples in English. In Japanese, you write Napoli as "ナポリ" or "Napori", which is why you often see the name written as "Spaghetti Naporitan".
Japan is a nation of pasta lovers and we have a whole array of dishes that combine Italian Pasta with local Japanese ingredients. We call these dishes "Wafu Pasta" (和風パスタ) which translates to "Japanese style pasta". Check out some of my tasty wafu pasta dishes!
- Spaghetti Meat Sauce
- Mentaiko Pasta (Cod Roe Spaghetti)
- Butter Shoyu Mushroom and Bacon Pasta
Watch our video for how to make Japanese ketchup spaghettiPrint
Step by step recipe
Spaghetti Napolitan (Japanese Ketchup Spaghetti)
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 portions 1x
How to make tasty family favourite, Spaghetti Napolitan with sausage, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and ketchup sauce.
- 3 litres Water
- 2-3 Hotdog sausages
- ½ White onion
- ½ Green bell pepper
- 3 Brown button mushrooms
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 4 tbsp + 2 tbsp Ketchup
- ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 200g Spaghetti (1.7-1.8mm)
- 2 Eggs
- Salt and pepper
- ½ tsp Grated Parmesan cheese
- Dry parsley to garnish
- First, take a large pot and add 3 litres of water and bring it to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to heat up, cut the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms into slices.
- Cut the sausages diagonally into 1cm slices. (Approx ½ inch)
- Heat up a large pan on medium, once hot add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage slices and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes. (If you prefer softer onions, you can swap step 4 and 5)
- Add the bell pepper and mushroom, fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add 4 tbsp of ketchup and lower the heat to prevent the ketchup burning.
- Now add ½ tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of unsalted butter.
- Mix well and allow the sauce to heat through.
- Take the pan off the heat and set aside.
- Once your pot of water is boiling and add 1 tbsp salt.
- Add the spaghetti and cook according to the instructions on the packaging.
- Heat up a separate pan on medium and add a drizzle of oil. Crack in 2 eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry to preference.
- Take 1-2 tbsp of the pasta water and add it into the pan with the meat and vegetables.
- Drain the rest of the water and transfer the pasta to the pan of sauce, return the pan to the heat. Mix well and allow to warm through.
- Add ½ tsp of grated parmesan, a pinch of salt and pepper and 2 more tbsp of ketchup. Mix well.
- Serve up and top with fried egg and a sprinkle of parsley.
You could also make this dish with bacon, ham and your preferred vegetables.
You can spice it up with some Tabasco sauce!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Fusion
- Method: Boiling/frying
- Cuisine: Japanese
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